Nigeria’s Acting President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, on Friday met with members of the Poultry Association of Nigeria for the second time in a week, promising urgent relief package by the Federal Government to address the nation’s agric sub-sector.
A statement by the Laolu Akande, Senior Special Assistant on Media & Publicity in the Office of the Vice President, said the Federal Government is in the process of concluding decisions on specific lines of action targeted at the challenges facing the industry, a sub-sector that is said to generate over 14 million direct and indirect jobs in the country.
The poultry operators to the government delegation at the meeting that the industry has had to contend with challenges such as an outbreak of Avian Influenza which affected almost four million birds in 2015, non-allocation of Foreign Exchange for the importation of needed machinery and other critical inputs, and high production costs in the industry.
In view of these challenges, Friday’s meeting was attended by relevant ministers and agency heads on ways to bail-out the industry, noting that the local poultry industry “needs to be protected urgently.”
The industry, he continued, should be a major plank of the agriculture sector, following which the Buhari administration will ensure that it gets help regarding the challenges being faced by operators of the sub-sector.
By supporting Nigeria’s poultry industry, he added, the huge foreign exchange spent on importation could be a thing of the past.
Speaking at the meeting, Dr. Ayoola Oduntan, who led the delegation of operators said poultry presently contributes 25% of the Agricultural Gross Domestic Product of the Nigerian economy amounting to N1.6 trillion.
Nigeria, he said, is rated as the number one egg-producing nation in Africa, and number four poultry meat producer in the continent.
Friday’s meeting was also attended by Finance Minister, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun; Minister of State, Agriculture & Rural Development, Heineken Lokpobiri; the Central Bank Governor Godwin Emefiele; and Comptroller-General of the Nigerian Customs Service, Col. Hameed Ali, rtd.